Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Render blues, heroes and "Earth Sights"

Render blues ... a little bit like soul reggae, with a piledriver (rum and coke in a two liter beer stein) and a bash on the head with a brick.

Rendering four characters in the same shot, on a complex set, with lights and shadows?! That's four base figures four skinmaps, four face and body morphs, four wigs, four costumes, four sets of diffuse and displacement maps, a half dozen lights and the shadows. Urk --

That's what the computer said. Urk. It told me, in no uncertain terms, it was not happy. I said to it, "Be as unhappy as you like, just do your job and stop snivelling." It continued to snivel, but it got the job done.

Richard and Barb, Mark and Curtis, all in the same shot, standing in another section of the Commander set. And I've uploaded them at 1:1 size, so you can really get a look at these. I'm thrilled to bits, and so is Mel Keegan. Yes!!!!

The computer is somewhat less thrilled, and let me know by crashing DAZ in an interesting way: perfect render -- but when you click to save the last render, it won't save. Nor will it save the scene under any name. Just the twirly-whirlies (I miss the old eggtimer) for about 15 minutes and then it shuts down. So these renders were actually rescued by being screen-captured! They're not raytraced, or anything fancy. Heaven alone knows what would happen if I tried to raytrace something like this. I think, a small mushroom cloud in the vicinity of the CPU.

And render blues are not something confined to the entry level of the CG world. Have a look at this video -- please click on the icon to see it full screen, because it's just so amazing, it will bring a tear to the eye:

...whoa. And yet if you look at the comments on the YouTube page were this is posted, it's all about render blues.Like this:
I purchased vue for a particular project and haven't used it since. For me it is too slow for any purpose within my workflow. The only thing I use it for is animated clouds. Unless you are a big production company and have access to a renderfarm and prepared to spend a lot of time and money rendering sequences its only ever going to be viable for stills. I for one won't be upgrading.

...its just very hard to find the right settings between rendertime and no flickering. unfortunately not everyboy has a renderfarm. im working on 16 cores and it still takes forever to render in highend quality.

Sixteen cores, and it still takes forever! Other people say that unless you have a renderfarm like Weta Digital or ILM, Vue is only any good for stills. That might be so, but ... what stills you can get in Vue. There's an artist who posts a heck of a lot to a Renderosity gallery, and who works in Vue and Terragen 2, and if incredible landscapes are your thing, that gallery is more than worth a look. In fact, you could spend a week there, viewing almost 1,000 images. The artist is Dotthy, and here are a couple of links to some stills which are just astonishing:

You're not going to get stuff like that out of Bryce, DAZ or Poser! That's the realm of Vue and Terragen. And yes, I would love to get into that realm. One of these days! All I need to do is win State Lotto, right?!

So for the time being I'm going to keep on amusing the heck out of myself with handsome heroes and statuesque heroines. And we've had a lot of SF lately, so I think I'll drift back to fantasy tomorrow. Or maybe a cross between the two. Mmmm -- an image just leapt into my mind. Fantasy meets SF...

Jade, April 20
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